The vagus nerve is the master regulator of our subconscious functions. It controls 75% of our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), the “rest and digest” part of our autonomic nervous system (ANS). When this tenth cranial nerve dominants over our sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the “fight and flee” part of our ANS, our body and mind enter a state of restoration and repair. As a result, the vagus nerve innervates and profoundly influences all the major organs of the body, including the heart, gut, brain, and lungs.
This is why I’ve dedicated a whole series to various concepts surrounding this critical and complex nerve. I’ve explored:
- what the vagus nerve is and its important roles in managing body physiology and psychology
- the polyvagal theory, which is based on the vagus nerves effects on our coping with threats and stressors and offers an innovative approach to dealing with trauma
- how essential oils have calming effects on our PNS and enhance vagal tone (vagus nerve functioning)
Now, in my latest post and video in this series, I expand on how a few essential oils can support the vagus nerve and the polyvagal theory.
- The importance of good vagal tone which can be supported by calming essential oils
- Validating essential oils effects on the PNS through changes in Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and other parameters
- Three essential oils that support vagal tone including lavender, bergamot, and ylang ylang oil
- A review of studies on these oils that demonstrate how they change PNS through improving physiological responses
- Two honorable mentions (petitgrain oil and fir oils)
Through their impact on the PNS, these selected essential oils can act as vagus nerve modulators that favorably support the our physiology, psychology, and biochemistry. They can also complement the polyvagal theory in that they arouse a feeling of safety that allows one to heal, grow, connect, and release trauma.
Learn more here.
Naturopathic Medicine and Holistic Resources for Hormone, Digestive, and Mood Support
- Stay Connected! Sign-up for my free weekly newsletter.
- Free resources and more education on essential oils and mind-body wellness are available to you here.
- Tools for coping with isolation and separation.
- Learn about my community membership program that provides full access to my essential oils database, essential oils course, Q&As, and exclusive content.
Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.